Rory Best has vowed that his World Cup dream is not over yet.
Ulster hooker Best suffered a dislocated thumb during Ireland's 14-10 victory over Georgia on Saturday and is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks, ruling him out of Ireland's final two pool games against France and Argentina.
With Ireland facing a mountain to climb if they are to get out of the pool following Argentina's victory over France and the failure of Eddie O'Sullivan's side to gain a bonus point against Georgia, Best may not see any more action in the tournament.
But the 25-year-old told the Belfast Telegraph he hoped to still play a role in this World Cup - because he is confident Ireland will still make the quarter-finals.
"I hope that there is still a bit of play left in me," said Best, who scored Ireland's opening try against Georgia before being forced to retire in the 53rd minute with the thumb injury.
"The X-ray and scan has revealed a bit of damage but it is not as damaged as was first feared or as bad as it could have been. It is now a case of icing it regularly to try to get the swelling down.
"I will be out for two weeks minimum and I won't be able to judge how close I am to playing until the swelling goes down and the doctor can properly assess the injury."
Best admitted the injury, which he sustained in a tackle at the start of the second half, was a devastating blow. But he is determined to remain upbeat.
"Waiting for the results of the scan was a nervous time for me," added Best, who must now put ice on the injury every hour to try to reduce the swelling. "At one stage it looked like I might be going home but both the doctor (Gary O'Driscoll) and Eddie O'Sullivan were happy to give me time to recover.
"It is big disappointment for me, but these things happen and there is no point being down about it, it is not going to heal any quicker," he added.